Thursday, September 25, 2008

September 25th, 2008

New York, NY Two tower crane erectors are being charged in the death of the erector that fell 400+ feet to his death earlier in the month. The group was working to remove the walkway between the building and crane.
The deceased is the brother-in-law of the brothers that have been charged. Apparently in the removal the men charged had decided to remove the handrail on the walkway. The handrail was a part of the structural support for the walkway and sounds like it was a cause in the walkway becoming unstable. the result of the unstable walkway was the falling of the erector.

My comment: I understand that he was on a walkway. If the group is removing handrail, whether it's structural or not, why is it that the entire group is not tied off to a 5,000 lb point? He had a harness on, why not use it. I don't know that a person can honestly be charged with stupidity. I agree with removing their license to erect cranes, but any other charges are on shakey ground. The claim is that they killed their sisters (assumed sister) husband with malice or disregard for human life? My first reaction is the three of them didn't have the brain power to keep themselves safe. Vo lenti Nonfit injuria... to those who are willing, no harm be done.

I originally saw this article on and you see the full article there.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sept 11th, 2008

Auckland NewZealand, Tower crane accident during crane erection. It's not clear as to what exactly happened as reports don't address what was happening on site. One worker fell with the crane but was freed quickly and it sounds as if he was uninjured. A second was trapped for up to one hour as firefighters decided how to best free the worker. It sounds as though he was trapped by his feet and his co workers had to support his weight while decisions were made. From the picture of the rescue it doesn't look like he is comfortable even after the rescue.

Sept 12th, 2008

Calgary Canada, tower crane was noticed as leaning four to five degrees by a pedestrian. The crane is shutdown and city engineers are trying to determine the problem. Those of us in the tower crane industry know that the crane always leans to the counter weighted side, let's hope that it's just that. If not it's a good catch by a passerby!

Sept 12th, 2008

Vancouver Canada, Fire in Cab of Liebherr tower crane, looks like a 316, caught fire. Two workers attempted to extinguish the fire and suffered smoke inhalation. The electrical panels are in the cab so it is critical that the fire extinguisher is in the cab and charged. Additionally I've seen electrical disconnects so high that one would have to get a ladder to turn the power off to the crane. This is a great example of why you need the disconnect to be at an accessable level. Smoke inhalation on two workers haveing to climb down 20 stories could be very dangerous and you certainly don't want to fight the fire long enough to endanger yourself over having to rebuild the electrical panel.

Friday, September 5, 2008

September 4, 2008

New York City, a tower crane erector fell 400 feet plus to his death from a platform between a building and the crane. Mr. Esposito was 48 years old and leaves behind children and a wife. He was found on the ground wearing a harness.

Those of us that work at elevation often become complacent in not tying off. Yeah, the lanyards get tangled. Yeah, they slow us down. But Goddamn guys, tie off. There are a 100 things on a crane that you can trip on. The ego or desire for speed, or just laziness isn't excusable. Some of these fat and lazy operators should be climbing the entire crane every day for their health, and to inspect the crane. If you cross from the building, did you inspect that crane daily before your shift?